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Plants that are pet safe

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by TCbounds on April 21, 2006 11:39 AM
Hello all! I am new to this site and I have some questions, any help will be appreciated. I live in Maine and I want to plant some flowers and shrubs around the place. My concern is finding out if the plants and seeds that I have are going to be pet safe. I have 3 dogs and all are diggers and like to toss around the moss I'm trying to naturalize a hill with. I have found a couple of sites that give partial lists, but not complete enough for me to feel ok about planting. In fact, my search is what led me to this site. I'm glad I found it. The specific flowers i am concerned with for now are morning glories, alyssum, forget-me-nots, black-eyed susans, and crocus. Anybody have any clues? I sure don't! I want to get my stuff planted, but it has to be safe for my pets because they love to help me soooooo much with my projects! Thanks, T.C. [dunno]
by SpringFever on April 21, 2006 11:48 AM
I hope this helps a bit TC [wavey]

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by peppereater on April 21, 2006 11:52 AM
I think it is much easier to find lists of plants that are poisonous than plants that are safe. I know that Purina has a series of lists of plants that are poisonous. One thing I know is that cats are endangered by many more plants and other things than dogs. Of the ones on your list, I would check into morning glories...they could be mildly for the rest, crocus are edible for humans (I THINK!), and I've never heard of any of the rest being toxic...even morning golries are probable safe as long as the dogs don't eat LOTS of the seeds. Keep in mind that toxicity is relative...potato and tomato leaves are toxic to humans, and probably animals, but in certain quantities. Potato peels are toxic to humans...but we eat them all the time.
My point is, if you can find specific information that a plant is toxic, at what doses, make your decisions accordingly.

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by TCbounds on April 21, 2006 08:54 PM
Thanks for the feedback, I'll try the link provided. I agree that toxicity is measured in degrees, but I would feel just terrible if my animals got sick. They are so much a part of my life. They are extremely important to helping my processes with depression, so is the gardening. I like to feel the earth and watch it grow. T.C.
by SpringFever on April 21, 2006 09:05 PM
Good luck TC [wavey]

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by Jiffymouse on April 23, 2006 02:19 AM
one thing to remember, just because a plant is poisionous to an animal, it may not be a danger. lots of animals have very firm ideas on what they can and cannot mess with.
by Verbena on April 30, 2006 08:35 PM
I'm totally new to this site, but may be able to help TCbounds with pet-safe plant questions. There is really only one site that is credible on this subject, and even it has its limits. The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center, a joint program with the University of Illinois College of Vet Med, has the largest database of toxic/pet-safe plants in the U.S. and probably the world. A few caveats: these are veterinarians, not botanists; they use common names rather than scientific names on their website and common names vary by region; what they don't list online are potentially toxic plants (and there are lots) Some sites that have copied the ASPCA NAPCC lists have mixed the toxic plants in with the safe -- not intentionally, but you know how it goes on the net Numerous web sites assume that if a plant is toxic to humans it must be toxic to pets − not true − some plants are toxic only to cats, or to dogs, or to birds, etc. Of the thousands of plant species out there, the ASPCA NAPCC has info on approximately 400. The link is
And keep in mind pet safe doesn't mean it's okay for your critter to make a meal of it. Just like people, an individual animal can have an adverse reaction to an otherwise non-toxic plant. Also, some plant toxins are released when the plant is stepped on, rolled in, or sniffed, etc. ANYTHING, if consumed or if an animal has skin contact with/inhales in sufficient amounts, can be toxic − including water. "Pet-safe" really means if your cat or dog eats or rolls in that plant, the pet may get sick but not dangerously so.
But that being said, there are great plants you can grow if you have pets. Unfortunately, Morning Glories, Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvestris), and Crocus are toxic. Black-eyed-susa(Rudbeckia) is toxic to pigs, horses and cattle -- not sure about pets, BUT Alyssum is pet safe.
Good Luck
by Wrennie on May 01, 2006 01:36 AM
someone listed this on anothe garden forum I go on under the same type of question

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by Verbena on May 01, 2006 10:14 AM lists Coleus as pet-safe. It is in fact potentially toxic. Coleus species and cultivars are members of the Labiatae family, and the essential oils may cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, anorexia, bloody diarrhea or vomiting. In the U.S., each year approximately 8,000 pets die due to toxic plants (those are the reported deaths). What is much more common is permanent liver and/or kidney damage, and of course, great suffering.
I have spent the past two years researching this subject and have yet to find a list on the internet (and I have checked more than 100) that is completely accurate. If in doubt about ANY plant, your best bet is to email the ASPCA NAPCC:>

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